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Tuesday 28. November 2023 - 08:55

How Real Madrid could line up against Napoli

Carlo Ancelotti could opt to protect a couple of important first-team players when Real Madrid welcome his former club Napoli to the Bernabeu in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Los Blancos returned to action at the weekend, beating Cadiz 3-0, and that saw Rodrygo and Jude Bellingham steal the show after overcoming recent injury concerns.

Bellingham was not present on England duty during November's international break, but he featured from the start and scored the final goal in a resounding Real win.

The manager may want to give both players the midweek off, knowing they are already through and need just a point to seal top spot in the group, but injuries elsewhere may make that unviable.

In attack, Vinicius Junior was ruled out for up to 10 weeks after suffering a hamstring injury while playing for Br azil last week, meaning Joselu came in to partner Rodrygo at the weekend.

Brahim Diaz could have came in for Bellingham behind the strikers, but after Luka Modric was forced off early with a muscular problem at Cadiz, the former AC Milan loanee could be forced to replace the Croatian.

Modric broke a club record for appearances since turning 35, making his 161st on Sunday, but his age means the club's medical staff are likely to be more careful.

Ancelotti will need Modric fit considering both Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga are set to miss the rest of 2023 through injury elsewhere in midfield.

After saving a penalty on matchday four against Braga, Andriy Lunin is set for a fourth straight start given the injuries to Kepa Arrizabalaga and Thibaut Courtois.

Courtois is out for a few more months along with defender Eder Militao, after both suffering ACL injuries earlier this year.

David Alaba was an unused substitute at the weekend, but he could come in as part of a shuffle up at the back, with Lucas Vazquez also in contention to start at right-back in place of Dani Carvajal.

Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Lunin; Lucas Vazquez, Rudiger, Alaba, Nacho; Valverde, Kroos, Brahim Diaz, Bellingham; Joselu, Rodrygo

Provided by: Frank Henriksen
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